Google to release an Android SDK for wearable devices in 2 weeks
Sundar Pichai (senior vice president of Android and Chrome at Google) announced at the SXSW conference in Austin that they will be releasing a Software Developer Kit (SDK) for wearable devices. Similar to the kind that developers use to make Android enabled smartphones and apps; Pichai hopes that the SDK will prompt greater innovation and aid in the development of a wide variety of wearable devices not limited to smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Google’s Android Operating system already dominates all PC, tablet and mobile platforms with a 26% surge from 2013 that will see it reach the hands of more than 1 billion this year. However, the market for wearable devices is still in its infancy and with no go-to platform at present (the Galaxy Gear 2 is ditching Android in favour of Samsung’s Tizen OS) it would appear that Google are trying to establish Android as the straightforward choice for developers and manufacturers.
Pichai shed very little light shed on Google’s own plans for developing wearable hardware simply stating their focus would be on the platform and the APIs. However, rumours have abounded that they have been working on a Smartwatch of their own since their acquisition of WIMM last year; and Google Glass is without a doubt, one of the highest-profile wearable devices to date. Some have speculated that they will use their wearable SDK initiative to hone their own hardware efforts by garnering feedback from participating developers.
With the emergence of a growing number of devices that can be connected and controlled via Smartphone and apps; the race to become the platform of choice that allows more and more products to work together will be fierce and Google’s move towards dominating wearable devices could bring them one step closer, whilst everyone is still left wondering what Apple has up its sleeve.